GRAINS-Corn hits 2-month high after U.S. crop forecast cut due to hot, dry weather
* Corn up after crop tour forecasts lower U.S. output
* Soybeans down as crop tour sees large U.S. harvest
* Ukraine projects higher Black Sea grain exports (Adds latest prices, analyst comment, changes byline/datelines, previous HAMBURG)
By Tom Polansek
CHICAGO, Aug 29 (Reuters) - Chicago Board of Trade corn futures set a two-month high on Monday after a U.S. crop inspection tour last week projected harvests would fall short of government estimates due to hot, dry weather.
Wheat futures also rallied, while soybeans fell after the crop tour forecast a large U.S. harvest.
The gains in corn reflect supply concerns and market efforts to entice farmers in South America to plant more acres of the grain, instead of soybeans, said Jim Gerlach, president of broker A/C Trading.
"The market right now is trying to send a signal that, 'We need more corn acres, South America,'" he said.
CBOT most-active corn was up 16 cents to $6.80-1/4 a bushel by 11:55 a.m. CDT (1655 GMT), after earlier reaching its highest price since June 27. Wheat rose 38 cents $8.43-1/4 a bushel and touched its highest price since July 12. Soybeans fell 24-1/2 cents to $14.37 a bushel.
After the markets closed on Friday, advisory service Pro Farmer estimated the U.S. corn harvest at 13.759 billion bushels, the smallest since 2019 and below U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts for 14.359 billion bushels.
Pro Farmer predicted a soybean crop of 4.535 billion bushels, slightly above the USDA forecast of 4.531 billion bushels. Rains in August helped soybean crops, CHS Hedging said.
Hopes for increased grain shipments from Ukraine limited gains in CBOT corn and wheat, traders said.
Ukraine's agricultural exports could rise to 6 million to 6.5 million tonnes in October, double the volume seen in July, as its sea ports gradually reopen, the country's agriculture minister told Reuters.
"Rises in corn are limited by cheap sales offers of Ukrainian corn as shipments through the safe shipping passage continue to develop," said Matt Ammermann, commodity risk manager at StoneX.
In Canada, farmers will harvest more wheat than expected, and the biggest canola crop in three years, a report featuring the government's first official harvest estimates showed. (Reporting by Tom Polansek in Chicago; Additional reporting by Michael Hogan in Hamburg and Naveen Thukral in Singapore; Editing by Ros Russell and Paul Simao)
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